Mansoor Amarna Collection

Dr. Reiner R.R. Protsch Report

From the J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Prof. Dr. Reiner RR Protsch
Department of
Palaeoanthropology + Archaeometry
( C - 14 + Amino-acid Laboratories )
J. W. Goethe-University ( FB - 16 )
6 Frankfurt/Main - GFR

Mr. Edmond R. Mansoor
530 Ramona Street
Palo Alto, Calif. 94301

Expertise of the Mansoor Collection

The following is a final report on an anthropological-morphological examination given to 6 statuettes of princesses, 9 heads of princesses, as well as one Bas-relief showing two seated princesses. Besides representations of princesses two heads of Akhenaton in pink limestone ( size 6" x 4" and 5 1/2" x 3 " ) as well as one head of Nefertiti in pink limestone ( 9" x 6" ) were morphologically examined.

The morphological examination concentrated on the following points :

  1. Physical features of Nefertiti and Akhenaton which might appear in their daughters.
  2. Comparison of physical features of the Akhenaton and Nefertiti individuals of the Mansoor Collection to other known collections i.e. Berlin and Kairo.
  3. Comparison of physical features of the princesses to other known representations of other collections i.e. Berlin and Kairo.
  4. How many of the 6 daughters of Akhenaton and Nefertiti are actually represented in the Mansoor Collection.

The detailed morphological analysis concentrated on 18 pieces of the collection over a five months period. The analysis started with an eight day work on the above named pieces and further detailed work at the University of California, Los Angeles ( UCLA ) followed by work at the J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt,BRD in the Department of Palaeoanthropology and Chronology.

Akhenaton and Nefertiti. Many physical features of the princesses are indeed those of Akhenaton and Nefertiti. The detailed work of the heads, especially anatomical details by the artist, shows his excellent powers of observation of anatomical details of both parents and children. This in my opinion can only be done if the Royal family was sitting for the artist. A recent production of these heads is only possible if the artist had constantly over many years access to some original sculptures requiring him to be an excellent artist as well as an anatomist. Even for an outstanding present day anatomist and artist it would be hard to produce such morphological details which shows a positive relationship between parents and daughters. Nearly all important morphological features of the Royal family known from such collections of the Berlin and Kairo Museums are, with some minor stylistic differences, represented in the Mansoor Collection pieces.

If the Mansoor Collection was produced in recent times, copying would only be possible if an artist had constant access to an original collection like those of the above museums over a period of many years. The morphological features which were used for a comparison of the Berlin Museum, Kairo Museum and Mansoor Collections are the following : Planum supraglabellare, restriction of both temples behind Fronto temporale ( ft. ), regio zygomatica and regio infraorbitalis, regio frontalis, regio orbitalis, regio nasalis, regio oralis, regio paratideo-masseterica, regio mentalis, regio auricularis, regio buccalis, as well as regions below the chin like regio submentalis and trigonum submandibulare.

In both parents anatomical comparisons were restricted to the facial portions, since in Akhenaton other parts of the head are covered by the crown. In Nefertiti parts of the regions behind the ear can be seen in detail like the regio occipitalis, regio colli post and regio sternocleidomastoidea. Except for the latter region, all anatomical regions differ not significantly from other known heads of Akhenaton. Two heads examined by the author in detail were a 5" x 4 1/2 " head of pink limestone wearing the Khat-Wig with a dark inclusion of possibly a large shell on the right cheek of the Nefertiti head ( 9" x 6", pink limestone, without a crown).

The Akhenaton head shows, as the only significant difference to heads of other collections, somewhat higher positioned ears. Even anatomical details within the above mentioned anatomical regions are not at all different in those pieces of the Mansoor Collection to pieces of other collections.

The nine heads of princesses of the Mansoor collection represent six different individuals, the six statuettes five different individuals. These heads are neither deformed ( unknown in Egyptian times ), nor pathological, but a particular genetical, somewhat extraordinary family type.

K. Gerhardt came to the same conclusion in 1967 during his examinations of a head of a princess ( Berlin 21223 ). Without doubt do all princesses of the Mansoor Collection share many morphological similarities with their parents Akhenaton and Nefertiti.

The below listed physical features are shared by all six princesses with minor differences only due to expression and size. In their overall morphology all heads of the princesses of the Mansoor Collection are the same as that head of the Berlin Museum, examined by Gerhardt in 1967 ( Berlin 21223 ). The only possibility of a recent origin of these heads of the Mansoor Collection would be, as pointed out above, the access of an artist in modern times to a collection like the one in Berlin over an extensive time period.

The following are similar and same anatomical features of the Mansoor Collection princesses as Berlin 21223.

The most important view from above, Norma verticalis, shows the same outlines as Berlin 21223

It shows astonishing anatomical details which are only possible by copying from living individuals.

In Norma parietalis ( side view ) all heads display an extreme postauricular length. The occipital displays a bending over downwards. The position of the ears is somewhat too high, when compared to present-day individuals. The height of the forehead displays a normal curve. At Norma verticalis, vertical to the ear-eye-plane, the head is exceptionally wide and oval formed. All reliefs of the skin, muscles, and bone are exceptionally well represented. Again, this is only possible by copying from a living individual. All parts are anatomically correct positioned as for example the infantile lower forehead and two well-formed frontal bosses and the somewhat constricted temples. These features are practically identical with Berlin 21223. The ears display astonishing detail and elaborate wrinkling, usually more prominent in young individuals. Even the muscles of the temples above the ears can be seen in detail as well as the neck muscles with a clearly defined Sulcus medianus nuchae.

The facial features are again extremely delicately modeled and without exception very similar to Berlin 21223. Even the Plica palpebronasalis( fold above the nose and lid ) which leads into Plica palpebromalaris can be seen. The princesses show thus remnants of infantile epicanthi. Below the chin an oblique Sulcus can be seen, again anatomically correct positioned. Several heads ( 6" x 31/2"; 4" x 3";5" x 3 1/2";6" x 3 1/2" ) show a small adams apple (Prominentia laryngea ) at the ventral side of the neck. There are in all princess-figurines two smaller flat areas which are positioned somewhat above the Tuber frontale. Between these is a sagittal Eminentia mediana frontalis. All heads have well rounded occipitals with well represented attachments of the muscles of the neck.

I could go into more anatomical details, but the above should suffice, especially when it is obvious that all heads, and especially one, are apart from minor details and differences which are those normally showing up in different individuals morphologically and anthropologically the same as Berlin 21223. They are also very similar to Berlin 21364, Kairo 44869, and Kairo 44870. Some features also remind of Berlin 17951, especially the overall form of the head. Berlin 21223 possibly represents the same princess as the Mansoor Collection 6" x 3 1/2" head in pink limestone. Differences between the six princesses, represented in the Mansoor Collection by 9 heads, are solely due to expression, with some individual differences of nose, chin, eyes, the occipital, and the size of the neck. All heads are eury-,pseudodolichomorphic. Since they are still fairly young but have already attained at least 95 % of their adult brain capacity it can be expected that with full adult growth the peculiar head-form will become less pronounced.

The six statuettes of the princesses possibly represent five different individuals. The statuettes size 14 1/2" x 6" x 3" and 8" x 3" x 2" are those of the same individual. No comparisons to other statuettes could be made, since the author is unaware of any others for comparison. Body form and proportions are, however, very similar to those of Akhenaton. Facial features , expressions etc. when compared to those heads of the princesses are quite similar.

The anatomical knowledge of the artist is astonishing and it is only possible to copy these details from a living individual. A comparison to those pieces of the Berlin and Kairo Museums (Gerhardt 1967 ) was done by this author on purpose, since those pieces have been in the Museums for long periods of time unavailable to anyone for copying. Apart from minor stylistic differences, differences between the Mansoor Collection and the Berlin and Kairo Collections of princesses do not exist. A person not trained to observe anatomical detail might make the mistake of concentrating on differences in style.

I can only reach the conclusion that if the Berlin and Kairo pieces are genuine, which could be solely due to different workmanship by different artists, those pieces of the Mansoor Collection are also genuine.

Prof. Dr.Reiner RR Protsch
Department of
Palaeoanthropology + Archaeometry
( C- 14 + Amino - acid Laboratories )
J. W. Goethe-University ( FB - 16 )
Frankfurt/Main - GFR